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HOUSE BILL 2383

86R10796 KSD-D

 

 By: DuttonH.B. No. 2383

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 

AN ACT

 relating to the establishment of the Thurgood Marshall School of

 Law as an independent public institution of higher education;

 granting a power of eminent domain.

        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

        SECTION 1.  AMENDMENT. Subtitle F, Title 3, Education Code,

 is amended by adding Chapter 112 to read as follows:

 CHAPTER 112. THURGOOD MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW

 SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

        Sec. 112.001.  THURGOOD MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW. The

 Thurgood Marshall School of Law is established in the city of

 Houston.

 SUBCHAPTER B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

        Sec. 112.051.  BOARD OF REGENTS. The organization, control,

 and management of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law is vested in a

 board of nine regents appointed by the governor and confirmed by the

 senate.

        Sec. 112.052.  TERM OF OFFICE; VACANCY. (a) Members of the

 board of regents hold office for staggered terms of six years, with

 the terms of three members expiring on February 1 of each

 odd-numbered year.

        (b)  A vacancy on the board shall be filled by appointment

 for the unexpired portion of the term.

        Sec. 112.053.  QUALIFICATIONS. Each member of the board of

 regents must be a qualified voter of this state.

        Sec. 112.054.  OFFICERS; MEETINGS. The board of regents

 shall elect a chair and any other officers the board considers

 necessary. The chair may convene the board when the chair considers

 it expedient to consider any business related to the school of law.

        Sec. 112.055.  EXPENSES. Members of the board of regents

 serve without pay but shall be reimbursed for their actual expenses

 incurred in attending the work of the board, subject to the approval

 of the board's chair.

 SUBCHAPTER C. POWERS AND DUTIES

        Sec. 112.101.  GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) The board of

 regents shall adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations the board

 considers necessary and proper for the governance of the school of

 law.

        (b)  The board may prescribe courses leading to customary

 degrees offered by other leading American schools of law and may

 award those degrees.

        Sec. 112.102.  GIFTS, GRANTS. The board of regents may

 solicit and accept from public or private sources gifts and grants

 of money or property for the benefit of the school of law.

        Sec. 112.103.  ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF LAND. (a) The

 board of regents on behalf of the school of law may acquire by

 purchase, exchange, or otherwise any tract or parcel of land or

 other real property necessary or convenient for carrying out the

 purposes of a state-supported school of law, and may sell,

 exchange, or lease any land owned by the school of law.

        (b)  The proceeds from any lease of land or other real

 property shall be added to the general funds of the school of law.

 The proceeds from any sale of land or other real property shall be

 added to the capital funds of the school.

        (c)  The board has the power of eminent domain for land

 acquisitions permitted by Subsection (a).

        Sec. 112.104.  SUITS. Venue for a suit against the school of

 law is in Harris County or Travis County. Process may be served on

 the school of law only by service of citation on the school of law's

 chief executive officer.

        Sec. 112.105.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT. The authority granted

 the board of regents under this subchapter is intended to be the

 same as the authority granted to the governing boards of The

 University of Texas System, The Texas A&M University System, and

 similar institutions with regard to the control and use of local

 funds.

        SECTION 2.  TRANSFER OF GOVERNANCE AND PROPERTY OF THURGOOD

 MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW.  (a)  Effective June 1, 2020, the

 governance, control, and management of the Thurgood Marshall School

 of Law are transferred from the board of regents of Texas Southern

 University to the board of regents of the Thurgood Marshall School

 of Law.  The transfer is governed by Sections 3 through 7 of this

 Act.

        (b)  On the date of the transfer provided by Subsection (a)

 of this section, all real and personal property of Texas Southern

 University used primarily for the operation of the Thurgood

 Marshall School of Law is transferred to the Thurgood Marshall

 School of Law.

        SECTION 3.  POWERS AND DUTIES; RULES AND POLICIES. (a) When

 the transfer takes effect, the board of regents of the Thurgood

 Marshall School of Law shall govern, operate, manage, and control

 the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and all real and personal

 property belonging to and constituting the Thurgood Marshall School

 of Law under the powers and duties conferred by law on the board of

 regents.

        (b)  The Thurgood Marshall School of Law may continue to

 award degrees in the same disciplines and of the same academic

 standing after the transfer authorized by this Act as those in which

 degrees were awarded by the Thurgood Marshall School of Law before

 the transfer, subject to the authority of the Texas Higher

 Education Coordinating Board regarding existing degree programs.

        (c)  Rules and policies adopted by the board of regents of

 Texas Southern University to govern the Thurgood Marshall School of

 Law that are in effect when the transfer takes effect are continued

 in effect until adopted, repealed, or superseded by the board of

 regents of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The board of

 regents of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law may adopt rules and

 policies applicable to the school of law in anticipation of the

 transfer authorized by this Act.

        SECTION 4.  CONTRACTS AND WRITTEN OBLIGATIONS, INCLUDING

 BONDS. Contracts and written obligations of every kind and

 character entered into by the board of regents of Texas Southern

 University for and on behalf of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law,

 including bonds, are considered ratified, confirmed, and validated

 by the board of regents of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law on

 the effective date of the transfer. In those contracts and written

 obligations, the board of regents of the Thurgood Marshall School

 of Law is substituted for and stands and acts in the place of the

 board of regents of Texas Southern University to the extent

 permitted by law.

        SECTION 5.  EFFECT OF TRANSFER ON STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES.

 (a)  The transfer of the governance of the Thurgood Marshall School

 of Law under this Act does not affect the status of any student of

 the school of law enrolled at the school of law when the transfer

 takes effect.

        (b)  The transfer of the governance of the Thurgood Marshall

 School of Law under this Act does not affect the employment status

 or accrued benefits of any person employed by the school of law when

 the transfer takes effect.

        SECTION 6.  CURRENT FUNDING. All funds that, on the

 effective date of the transfer, have been appropriated or dedicated

 to or are held for the use and benefit of the Thurgood Marshall

 School of Law under the governance of the board of regents of Texas

 Southern University are transferred to the board of regents of the

 Thurgood Marshall School of Law for the use and benefit of the

 school of law.

        SECTION 7.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT; ROLE OF COORDINATING BOARD.

 It is the intent of the legislature that the transfer of the

 governance of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law from the board of

 regents of Texas Southern University to the board of regents of the

 Thurgood Marshall School of Law be made without disrupting the

 students, faculty, staff, or programs of the school of law. If

 those boards of regents are unable to agree as to any matter

 relating to the transfer, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating

 Board on application of either board of regents shall resolve the

 disagreement consistent with the intent of this section and the

 provisions of this Act as the coordinating board determines is in

 the best interest of this state and the institutions under the

 governance of the boards of regents. The coordinating board may

 issue any orders or take any other action the coordinating board

 considers appropriate to enforce this section or to facilitate the

 transfer consistent with this Act and the intent of the

 legislature.

        SECTION 8.  APPOINTMENT OF INITIAL BOARD OF REGENTS.  Not

 later than December 1, 2019, the governor shall appoint the initial

 members of the board of regents of the Thurgood Marshall School of

 Law under Chapter 112, Education Code, as added by this Act. The

 governor shall appoint:

              (1)  three members whose terms expire February 1, 2021;

              (2)  three members whose terms expire February 1, 2023;

 and

              (3)  three members whose terms expire February 1, 2025.

        SECTION 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Act takes effect September

 1, 2019.